Environmental Literacy Grants (ELG)

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    Funder Type

    Federal Government

    IT Classification

    C - Funds little to no technology


    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)


    Environmental Literacy Grants (ELG) support projects that inform, educate, and inspire a diverse pool of educators, students and the public to use Earth systems science toward both improving ocean and coastal stewardship and increasing safety and resilience to environmental hazards. These grants support formal and informal education activities at local, regional, and national levels to address the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) mission of science, service, and stewardship. This mission is directed toward a vision of the future where communities and their ecosystems are healthy and resilient in the face of sudden or prolonged change.

    The goal of this program is to build environmental literacy of K-12 students and the public so they are knowledgeable of the ways in which their community can become more resilient to extreme weather and/or other environmental hazards, and become involved in achieving that resilience. Projects should build the collective environmental literacy necessary for communities to become more resilient to the extreme weather and other environmental hazards they face in the short- and long-term. Building sufficient environmental literacy in a community means that these communities are composed of individuals who are supported by formal and informal education that develop their knowledge, skills, and confidence to:

    • reason about the ways that human and natural systems interact globally and where they live, including the acknowledgement of disproportionately distributed vulnerabilities;
    • participate in scientific and/or civic processes; and
    • consider scientific uncertainty, cultural knowledge, and diverse community values in decision making. 

    Projects should demonstrate how they will engage community members to build these capabilities, particularly through active learning, during the award period. Projects should leverage and incorporate relevant state and local hazard mitigation and/or adaptation plans and collaborate with individuals and institutions that are involved in efforts to develop or implement those plans. Projects may focus on a single location or multiple locations and a single type of environmental hazard or a range of hazards that impact a community or communities. Projects will be based on the established scientific evidence about current and future extreme weather and other environmental hazards facing communities and should consider relevant socioeconomic and ecological factors in the targeted location(s). Particular attention should be paid to populations within communities that have greater exposure and have fewer resources to deal with the impacts of extreme weather and/or environmental hazards that are the focus of the project. Projects must relate to NOAA's mission in at least one of the following areas: ocean, coastal, Great Lakes, weather, and climate sciences and stewardship. They must also utilize NOAA's scientific data, data access tools, data visualizations, and/or other physical and intellectual assets available on these topics. In order to facilitate the use of NOAA's assets, projects are strongly encouraged to partner with relevant NOAA entities (offices, programs, etc.) and/or NOAA employees and affiliates. Also, projects should consider integrating citizen science tools when appropriate. 

    This funding opportunity has two priorities, numbered without regard to importance for funding:

    • Priority 1 awards will support new projects taking place in the Central and Eastern Regions of the United States. These regions include the following states: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The entirety of a project must only serve audiences located in one or more of the listed states.
    • Priority 2 awards will support the evolution of projects funded under the 2015-2018 funding opportunities from this program (NOAA-SEC-OED-2015-2004408, NOAA-SEC-OED 2016- 2004737, and NOAA-SEC-OED-2018-2005455). The full list of awards that support or supported eligible projects can be found here: https://go.usa.gov/xFWXS. Projects for this priority must be implemented within the United States and its territories.

    History of Funding

    Up to $3,000,000 was available in total funding for FY2020. Previous awards can be reviewed at: http://www.noaa.gov/office-education/elp/grants/awards

    Additional Information

    Projects must be implemented within the United States and its territories. They may be implemented on local to regional scales. The project description should include a justification of the proposed geographic scale of a project and discussion of the project components that might be applicable to projects in other places.


    Carrie McDougall

    Carrie McDougall
    NOAA Office of Education
    14th Street and Constitution Ave NW Room 6863
    Washington, DC 20230
    (202) 482-3384

  • Eligibility Details

    Eligible applicants are limited to institutions of higher education; K-12 public and independent schools and school systems; other nonprofits, including community-based organizations and informal education institutions, such as museums, zoos, and aquariums; state and local government agencies; and Indian tribal governments in the United States.

    Deadline Details

    For Priority 1, pre-applications are required and will be used to determine which institutions are invited to submit full applications to this priority. The deadline for preapplications is 11:59 pm EDT on November 1, 2021 and the deadline for Priority 1 full applications is 11:59 pm EDT on March 17, 2022. For Priority 2, only full applications are requested and the deadline for Priority 2 applications is 11:59 pm EST on January 25, 2022. Similar deadlines are anticipated biennially.

    Award Details

    NOAA anticipates that approximately $5,000,000 may be available in fiscal year (FY) 2020 for this announcement. Approximately 7 to 12 awards will be granted among both priorities. There is no cost share requirement. 

    For Priority 1, projects must be between 2 and 5 years in duration and the total federal amount requested from NOAA for each project must be no less than $250,000 and no more than $500,000 for all years of the project, including direct and indirect costs. For Priority 2, projects must be between 2 and 5 years in duration and the total federal amount requested from NOAA for each project must be no less than $100,000 and no more than $500,000 for all years of the project, including direct and indirect costs. 

    Related Webcasts Use the links below to view the recorded playback of these webcasts

    • Funding Classroom Technology to Empower Students and Teachers - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Maximizing Technology-friendly Workforce Development Grants - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Funding Data-driven Workforce Development Projects - Sponsored by NetApp - Playback Available


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